What always surprises me is how quickly the surface temperatures begins to drop after the first few fronts we experience inSeptember. Surface temperatures can dramatically drop in a few weeks from 96 degrees to 80 degrees. That's a significant drop. This sudden drop causes the bait fish to start migrating up the creeks.
Bass will sometimes surprise you. Last week I was fishing a small, dingy lake and found some bass in water less than one foot deep. Go figure!
A couple of years ago I was fishing in Lake Jacksonville about the third week in September and found lots of bass located at the end of the piers that were in 5 to 7 feet of water. When bass move shallow in the fall it's hard to beat a shallow, square bill, shad crank bait. I always have crank baits tied on in the fall.
On lakes that are silted in and don't have very defined creeks, I have good luck targeting main lake points and pockets. By October you should be able to locate bass with a shallow crank bait. At times I have launched my boat at the dam on Lake Palestine and start cranking my way up the lake until I locate a school of bass.
By October you should be able to locate plenty of bass in water 5 to 10 feet deep or shallower. I've always had good luck fishing a crank bait in about 5 feet of water.
Fall is like spring in reverse. In the spring a lot of bass will move up to the first drop off from the bank that's in 5 feet. The fall season is no different. I fish the first drop off a lot. It may take you all day to pattern the fish once fall begins, but once you determine the right depth and cover the bass are relating to, you will have solved the mystery of fall fishing.